It was an intense, 16-hour day of poker at Seneca Resort and Casino where a total of 86 entries participated in the Seneca Niagara Fall Poker Classic $500 Re-Entry event. At the end of it all, it was Rick Block who rose above the field and took home the biggest prize of anyone thanks to a four-handed deal. Block earned himself the winner's trophy as well as a payday of $9,127.
The tournament, which began at a fairly tame pace, gathered more and more entries as the day progressed. Once the re-entry period was closed at the end of Level 8, players began dropping like flies and the field was eventually whittled down to the unofficial final table of ten.
As the event paid the top nine finishers, the ten-handed final table made for the tournament's bubble period. The final ten players seemed to recognize that their stacks were fairly deep in relation to the blinds and antes, and thus the short stacks were able to pick their spots wisely and keep themselves alive in the tournament. The bubble finally burst just over two-hours into ten-handed play when Eric Liu found himself all in and at risk before the flop with . Liu was crushing Budway Salhab's , but a queen on the turn flipped Liu's game on its head. Liu was not able to improve and he was sent home as the bubble boy.
Leon Halat was the first player from the field to be sent home with cash in his pocket. A short-stacked Halat moved all in before the flop and his ace-jack failed to improve against Salhab's pocket kings. Halat collected $1,397 for his ninth place finish.
Following Halat out the door was one-time chip leader Chris Myers. At 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante, Myers found himself all in for his last roughly 100,000 against Art Demmerley. The flop read and Myers held for the nut flush draw. Demmerley was winning at the time the money went in with his for top pair and was looking to dodge a club to score the elimination. Myers found no help in the final community cards and he was forced to settle for a eighth place finish.
Last woman standing Sharman Olshan also fell when she moved all in with . In Olshan's case, however, she put the last of her money in before the flop and ran into Block's . An eight-high board spelled disaster for Olshan and she was eliminated in seventh place.
Six-handed play lasted for another hour and the tournament finally came to a hand during a confrontation between Block and Jeff Joseph. At 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante, Block opened with a raise to 24,000. Action folded to Joseph's small blind and he moved all in for 201,000. Block called and the hands were tabled.
Block paired up on the flop and never released his grip on the hand as the turn and river completed the board with the and the , respectively. Joseph fell in sixth place and pocketed $2,547 for his efforts. Event 1 winner Demmerley quickly followed Joseph out of the room with a fifth-place finish, and that's where the final four began discussing a deal.
The deal was based on chips the amount of chips that each player held at that time. Since Block held a commanding chip lead, he was awarded the most money as well as the trophy. Here's a look at how the final table payouts stacked up:
Seneca Niagara Fall Poker Classic Event 7
*denotes four-handed deal
That does it for our coverage of the $500 preliminary event! Be sure to tune in on Saturday, November 23 for the latest updates from the Seneca Niagara Falls Fall Poker Classic $1,500 Main Event!